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In the Canadian Press

I am delighted to have had my collection of urban minimal paintings featured in the highly respected Canadian Fowl Feathered Review!

Flashbook

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  1. Dear Emma, Your work has profound meaning at a deep level for me. Much of my research was on building community; that strong sense of people connecting with each other. Through your beautiful work, you highlight the sense of community that is being eroded. Robert Putnam, in his book, Bowling Alone, articulated the growing loss of community in the U.S. His work parallels what you describe. Thank you for speaking through your amazing gift for people who want to be connected but don’t understand what they are losing. Ray

    • Dear Ray, you write with such eloquence. Thank you. I will get hold of Putnam’s “Bowling Alone” – these are issues that I have been aware of but I dont think I directly connected the local loss of community with this broader phenomenon, but now you point it out it seems blindingly obvious. We have lost so much community and social media has replaced it with a shallow version of community. Much as I love connecting with people online (and I really do) it’s not the same as interacting with people face to face. Talking of bowling I was reading an exchange on a local community facebook forum that was discussing a partially defunct bowling green in Brynmill Park, which is round the corner from here. It had been declared “too expensive” to restore the turf to bowling quality and residents were arguing that it should be used a) children’s play area (the park already has one of these with swings etc) or a b) dog exercise yard (dog are allowed off the lead in most areas of the park, anyway). Only one person spoke up for the elderly bowling community. The elderly tend not to use facebook so they were pretty much left out of the “conversation”. A good example of how polarised debates can get! I am interested in your research on building community – can you possibly send me a link to something to read about it please?

      • Dear Emma, Thank you for your reply – you understand the issue at a deep level. Social media is nice, but it cannot compete with the personal, face-to-face connection where we discover we are not so different from our neighbor. We discover we all want the same things. The process of discovery is simple, connect, listen intently, and respect the person and his/her story. I will send you a link this coming week. Have a great weekend. Ray

      • Thanks Ray!! A very interesting article, indeed. We often assume that regeneration/community cohesion come from external forces (money & local gov policy) and yet your article showed how changing the mindset of individuals within the community could be very effective too. Possibly more effective. Did you do a follow up study, or do you have antecdotal stories about the long term changes? Thank you, once again.

      • Hi Emma, great changes happened in this community – the greatest change that occurred is that they stopped seeing each other as enemies and began to work together. Problems that were once overwhelming disappeared in the light of cooperation. Ray

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